Wednesday, June 14, 2017

EdTech At The Crossroads

After 30 years in edtech I question the "return of investment" ... I see it as a case of diminishing returns - especially in the last 5 years.

There is a tremendous amount of new tech emerging and this is precipitating options for education - I see two paths ahead.

One path is what I call "systems Drive" .. a tech\data centric closed centralist systems approach driven by the automation agenda of the tech industry and senior management - the drivers are business, monetisation, scale, efficiency, effectiveness, productivity, results and control. Its a data driven, performance management, managed learning approach - closing the loop of management with content delivery and testing with programmed teaching and learning .. ultimately replacing teachers.

On the other path I see a people centric\design approach driven by educational practitioners - teachers and learners. Rather than a path its a direction across open fields - a diverse bricolage of open ideas in a general direction led by teachers and learners. This is a more diverse approach and thinks about and uses technology in a diverse and wider sense - not just screen based digital computing but all the technologies available and emerging in the Maker movement - woodwork, metal work, paper crafts, sewing etc as well as 3D printing, nano computers, simple electronics, robotics,  VR, AR, AI etc.

On the one path (the systems path) we are programmed by tech .. it conditions and controls us through a form of cognitive behavioural therapy.

On the other path (the design path) we program tech ... it liberates and frees us through a form of creative constructionist post cognitive therapy.

The text above is a summary of what I recorded in the short video clip below - take a look

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